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PPP on alert for “untoward” events as Granger’s local govt ultimatum nears expiration

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee.

The ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Monday, signaling that government would not give into opposition demands for the naming of local government elections date, said it was on high alert for disruptions.

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee backed President Donald Ramotar’s position that Opposition Leader, David Granger’s call for local government elections to be held was both ambiguous and contradictory. Granger’s A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has also decided to support the Alliance For Change’s (AFC) no-confidence motion that could result in early general and regional elections.

Against the background of Granger’s threat that APNU reserves the right to engage in a a local and international campaign to ensure government complies with the constitution and the relevant local government legislation, Rohee said his party was prepared.

“I think everybody is waiting to see the manifestations of how this deadline would play out both locally and internationally. The most I would say is that from the party’s point of view, we are on the alert for any untoward expectations and we, off course, as a strong supporter of the government will be giving whatever support that the government needs in order to ensure that no efforts at intimidation or otherwise succeeds,” Rohee told a news conference.

Granger has given the President until September 15, 2014 to issue the Commencement Order to operationalize the Local Government Commission and to initiate a process by which the Local Government (Amendment) Bill could be returned for presidential assent.

APNU parliamentarian, Christopher Jones, speaking at a public meeting at Turning Point, TucVille, had alluded to former United States Ambassador, Brent Hardt’s public assurance that his government would be willing to support those who struggle for democracy. “If we are prepared to stand up for democracy, if the words spoken by the US President Barack Obama and the former Ambassador to Guyana Mr Brent Hardt that the United States would stand behind any citizen from any country that stand up for democracy, we as a people must read between those lines,” said Jones.

The US, Britain and the European Union have been leading the charge for the holding of local government elections last held in 1994.

Constitutionally due every three years, local government elections have been delayed for several reasons including the need for now almost complete legislative reform.